Though Epson's U.S. division has been mum on the subject, its U.K. division has announced the new Stylus Photo R1900 printer. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some minor differences between the U.K. and U.S. versions of the printer, but for you big Epson fans in America, here's what we know about the printer announced across the pond: Like the R1800, the R1900 can print images up to 13-inches wide, can lay down ink drops as small as 1.5 picoliters, and uses an 8-ink-tank system. However, the R1900 uses an updated version of Epson's pigment-based UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink set called UltraChrome Hi-Gloss2. The new set includes separate Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Matte Black, Photo Black, Red, Orange, and a Gloss Optimiser cartridges.
Epson says that the new orange ink, which replaces the blue found in the original UltraChrome Hi-Gloss set, lets the printer achieve more natural skin tones. The company has also reformulated the magenta and yellow inks in an attempt to create more accurate blue and green tones. The new printer also uses revamped Look Up Tables, developed in conjunction with the Munsell Color Science Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Look Up Tables are part of the process a printer or computer goes through when trying to convert the colors in an image into the set of colors that a printer can reproduce. So, if the printer can't make the exact Ferrari red that blankets your car, the Look Up Table helps it get as close as possible.
According to Epson, the R1900 will accept glossy, matte, and fine art papers and will be able to support roll-feed media in addition to standard cut-sheet papers. It's unclear whether the roll feeder comes with the printer or must be purchased as an option, or if this will even be something available for the U.S. version. For that we'll have to wait and see. We do know that the U.K. version will also sport two USB 2.0 Hi-Speed jacks, has a top resolution of 5760x1440dpi, and will be able to print onto CDs and DVDs. It's expected to start selling in jolly old England this November for about 400 pounds, which translates to about $815 here in the U.S. However, I wouldn't expect that the U.S. version will cost that much once it hits our shores, since the R1800 had a price of $550 when it was announced back in February 2005. Once we get concrete U.S. information, we'll be sure to provide an update.